Ask anyone in the metal community, particularly the touring world, and they’ll tell you that ageing bands touring off their legacies and a lack of fresh blood making it big has been the elephant in the room for some time.

Slayer guitarist Kerry King certainly seems to think so. Speaking recently to RVA Mag, via Metal Injection, King said that whilst Slayer are living on past successes, they’re small potatoes compared to Metallica and Iron Maiden.

“We’re living on our history for sure, but so is everyone else, yet we’re the ones trying to push ourselves forward,” he said. “I would say [Iron] Maiden and Metallica, no offense, are living on past success.”

“Metallica has toured forever on The Black Record which a lot of people don’t like. I actually like it. It’s heavy as can be. Is it Master Of Puppets? ‘Course not, but it’s a great record.”

“Iron Maiden, for me, is living off their first three records. Have they made good songs since then? Yeah, but they haven’t made great records. I like to think we’re still making great records.”

“And as much as people come out wanting to hear ‘Reign In Blood’ and ‘Angel Of Death’, they also want to hear ‘Disciple’ or even ‘Implode.'” King also addressed flagging record sales and how he judges success.

As Metal Injection note, Slayer’s latest album sold 49,000 copies in its first week, a fair effort and an improvement on 2009’s World Painted Blood, which sold 41,000 copies in its first week, but down from the 62,000 2006’s Christ Illusion moved in its first week.

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“It’s true, but it’s just a sign of the times because people get their music differently,” said King. “It’s not all about [Nielsen] SoundScan anymore. That’s the last thing I remember because you remember what you had growing up.”

“There’s different technologies and different ways of doing a number of things, but when I grew up, I knew SoundScan and we are way off of SoundScan now. That’s because people get music for free… It’s not the same as it used to be.”

As far as King is concerned as long as people are showing up to Slayer’s live performances, they’re doing just fine. “That means people are into the music, whether the record is selling or not,” he said. “They have it, they know it, and we can play it and have them sing it right back to us.”

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